Chapter 468: Another masterpiece of Li Bai!
The next day.
Around 5 in the morning. The sky had not lit up yet.
Zhang Ye could not fall asleep, and after washing up, he went downstairs. He wore a scarf and sunglasses and went for a morning jog around his neighborhood. He ran one big circle around his neighborhood as vapor emitted from his mouth till he could no longer run. He had not exercised in a while, so he couldn’t handle the sudden run. The breakfast stall on the opposite side of the road had already opened, so he went there to have breakfast. He also took the opportunity to buy a copy of the morning newspapers at a newspaper stand beside it.
“What do you want to eat?”
“Bean curd and two fried dough sticks.”
“Alright, it will be here shortly.”
“Thanks a lot.”
Zhang Ye pulled out a chair and sat by the roadside. He rubbed his cold, numb hands and began to look through the newspapers. He was stunned after seeing a piece of news on the frontpage of the entertainment section.
Yao Jiancai’s attempted prostitution?
Holy sh*t, could it be that Old Yao was detained by the police!?
Zhang Ye was quite lost. No wonder he could not reach Old Yao by phone. No wonder SARFT’s decree #43 had his name on it too. So that was the reason, but what was this charge of attempted prostitution? The news said that in a police “raid” the day before yesterday at a particular nightclub, amongst the 40 prostitutes, pimps and clients included Yao Jiancai. However, after reading the article all day, Zhang Ye could not find any real evidence to pin on Yao Jiancai. It appeared as if the police had found a female masseuse giving Yao Jiancai a massage in a room, and after investigations, the masseuse was a prostitute, hence the crime of attempted prostitution was slapped on Yao Jiancai. Of course, this was not written clearly on the newspaper, but Zhang Ye was no fool. He could tell from what he read.
That day, Old Yao had given him a phonecall, inviting him to sing karaoke with him. As Zhang Ye had to stay at home to take care of Chenchen for Rao Aimin, he had not gone. Could it be that it happened then?
Zhang Ye knew Old Yao as a person very well. Well, Yao Jiancai might not be some proper person, and also had the common problem of male lust, and would not shift his eyes away from young ladies, but he was a familiar celebrity that had appeared in many television dramas. Many people knew him, so even if he really wanted to hire a prostitute, he probably did not have the guts to do so. He was most likely just unlucky this time. It was as if his pants were stained brown, so even if it wasn’t shit, people would think it was shit! Old Yao sure was unlucky. The newspaper said that he was detained for investigation, and with decree #43 issued, Yao Jiancai was used as an example.
Someone gave him a call.
Zhang Ye put down his newspapers. “Hello?”
It was Xiao Lu’s cheeky voice. “Teacher Zhang, it’s me. You sure are awesome. I only saw the Celebrity Rankings this morning when I came into the office and we were all discussing this matter!”
“Let me speak a word too.” Over there, Hou Ge grabbed the phone over. “Teacher Zhang, everyone is missing you. Are you alright?”
Dafei’s voice was there too. “That poem, ‘Bamboos on the Rocks’ was too well written! Teacher Zhang’s literary skill remains the same!”
Hearing the voices of his former colleagues at the Beijing Television Station’s Arts Channel, he smiled. “Thanks a lot. I’m fine and am pretty good. I just had a jog and am outside eating breakfast. After I’m done with my meal, so I’ll be returning home to have some sleep.”
Xiao Lu took the phone over again. “You sure are enjoying your life.”
Zhang’er said, “Of course. I have no work to do, and only have time left. Let’s meet one day and have a meal together. It’s been awhile since we all gathered.”
Xiao Lu said, “Sure.”
Hou Di added on, saying, “Teacher Zhang, all the best. Hold on and don’t drop down the rankings! We are waiting for you to create a miracle!”
Zhang Ye smiled and said, “I was lucky yesterday. The people gave me face and circulated my ‘Bamboos on the Rocks’. That caused me to enjoy an increase in popularity. I might not be so lucky today. What is my ranking now? Have I dropped back down to the D-list?”
Xiao Lu said, “Wait a moment, let me see!”
The sounds of the computer keyboard clacking could be heard.
Dafei took over the phone. “It’s still not midnight yet, so the rankings haven’t be updated. Your ranking is still where it was when it was updated yesterday. Second from the last amongst the C-listers. However, on the detailed page, the numbers have been dropping after midnight. It seemed like it shot up a bit before midnight and then started decreasing. Now you are last on the C-listers. Below you is still that Tang Dazhang, but he’s still quite a distance away from you.”
After hanging up, Zhang Ye finished his breakfast and paid up. He then went home to take a nap.
He had nothing to do after all. He slept after waking up and woke up after sleeping. He then looked at his watch before going back to sleep.
He slept all the way to night time until Zhang Ye could no longer sleep any further. Sleeping too much gave him a headache. After washing his face with cold water, he was momentarily more awake. He sat in front of the computer and switched on the television to watch the news and surf the internet.
The promotions for the National Crosstalk and Skit Competition were currently in full swing. One could basically see on television, newspapers, the internet news about this competition and its advertisements. Tang Dazhang’s face constantly appeared on various media and television. He was probably not the most famous person amongst the judges, as the remaining judges enjoyed a greater esteem than him. For example, there was the oldest veteran artist in the crosstalk world, and a crosstalk artist who had participated in twelve Chinese New Year Galas. Of course, like previous years, the judges definitely had a movie star or singer. It was just not yet announced, and was left as a mystery to whet the appetite of others. In general, this year’s Crosstalk and Skit Competition had quite an impressive jury lineup. Just this gold standard of judges was enough to receive the attention of countless number of commoners!
On the web.
With the buzz from last night over, those people, that had been smacked in the face at midnight by Zhang Ye, did not relent. Especially Tang Dazhang’s fans and his friends from the crosstalk world. It was as if they could not take this laying down. They had embarrassed themselves greatly yesterday.
A theater’s crosstalk actor quipped on Weibo: “@TangDazhang, Old Tang, you will definitely be treating us tomorrow, right? Haha.”
Tang Dazhang’s disciple, a young crosstalk actor said, “Congratulations Master.”
A critic said: “It had profound implications with Teacher Tang Dazhang rising up to the rankings of a C-list celebrity. It is another breakthrough and development for the crosstalk world . It proves that crosstalk has gone from a subculture to something mainstream. It is liked by more and more people!”
There were numerous congratulations.
“Congratulations Teacher Tang. Congratulations to the art of crosstalk!”
“Teacher Tang is creating a brilliant history.”
“Back then, crosstalk master, Master Liu failed to reached this level of popularity. For crosstalk to compare with movies or music, it is naturally disadvantaged. It sure wasn’t easy for Teacher Tang Dazhang to come this far. Congrats!”
“There will definitely not be a problem today. He will definitely enter the C-list rankings!”
“That’s right. The figures on the detailed page shows that Teacher Tang has exceeded Zhang Ye, and has even exceeded him greatly. Today, those fans of Zhang Ye can’t remain arrogant anymore! Those who have been banned should know their place. What’s the point of popping out all the time? No matter how much you pop out, you can’t escape the result of a sharp drop in popularity!”
The rankings had not changed as it was not time for it to be updated. However, from the figures, one could tell that Tang Dazhang had once again exceeded Zhang Ye, pushing Zhang Ye back down to the ranks of the D-listers. The reason why Tang Dazhang’s numbers could rise so quickly was mainly because there were advertisements airing on television as well as news portal websites. This exposure constantly made Tang Dazhang rise in popularity. As for Zhang Ye, as he was banned, his popularity was decreasing. One was positive, while the other was negative, so there was naturally a clear difference.
The gap was widening!
It was getting more distant!
Zhang Ye had been overtaken by Tang Dazhang!
The second person on the D-list rankings was a singer who was quite popular. He was also about to chase up to Zhang Ye’s ranking, and the difference wasn’t that great!
Zhang Ye’s fans were silent. They had cheered last night. That sure was a joyful event, as they kept stabbing and smacking the faces of others. Today, none of them said a word, as they still did not know the situation. Actually they knew very well that after Teacher Zhang Ye was banned, his ranking would fall sooner or later.
Seeing how they remained silent, the enemies became more aggressive in their attacks!
“Haha, why aren’t they speaking?”
“Weren’t all of you feeling powerful yesterday? Weren’t you all very arrogant?”
“Zhang Ye is already doomed. Yet, you still can’t accept the reality? Do you still not understand the situation? I’m really worried for your intellect!”
“The powers have already announced it. The decree has been passed, yet Zhang Ye still insists on going down his own path. To think he said how he would remain unyielding no matter where the winds blow from? Wasn’t this a clear challenge? Then do you think you will enjoy anything?”
“Zhang Ye really doesn’t understand the way the world works. When leaders indicate their stance, you have to listen. When the leaders say you are not right, you have to bow your head. What’s so hard about that?”
“To survive in the entertainment industry, you have to understand that you have to bow at times, if not, how are you to survive? How can Zhang Ye not even know this?”
“It’s make or break, so ignore him.”
Actually all along, many people who knew of Zhang Ye’s temper found it strange. They wondered why Zhang Ye never accommodated the situations he was placed in. Such a person clearly looked out of place in the entertainment industry!
At almost 11PM.
Suddenly, Zhang Ye’s Weibo had an update!
Zhang Ye posted on Weibo: “I had a dream yesterday.”
“He has appeared!”
“Zhang Ye has come!”
“Hurry over! See what he has to say!?”
“Am I dreaming? What does this mean?”
Following that, a dream poem appeared!
Poem: “Ocean travelers talk of Yingzhou, yet its mist and waves are hazy – belief in it is hard to find; The people of Yue speak of Tianmu; its red clouds in bright light or darkness might be seen. Tianmu pierces the sky and stretches to the horizon, its power surpasses the Five Peaks and eclipses Chicheng Mountain….”
Dreamed of Mount Tianmu?
This was a poem about traveling immortals?
It was actually in a folk song poem format!
Poem: “On a thousand precipices and in ten thousand valleys, the path is not clear; infatuated by flowers, one leans on a rock; suddenly it is dark. Bears roar and dragons hum, rumbling over precipices and springs; trembling, the deep forests; frightened, the layered summits. Clouds, blackest black, are going to rain; from water most placid, mist rises. Thunder and lightning; hills and mountain ranges are shattered; the stone doors of paradise open with a crash; the dark blue sky is vast and mighty, one cannot see its end; the sun and moon shine brilliantly on gold and silver terraces. A rainbow for clothes, wind for a horse, the Cloud Immortals come down one after another. A tiger strikes the harp, a phoenix rides a chariot; the immortals line up like hemp.”
The immortal paradise was vividly described!
Imagery began to open up in front of everyone!
Then the poem had a twist, “Suddenly one’s spirit palpitates and one’s soul shakes; startled one wakes and takes a deep breath. There is only the pillow and mat when I am awake; gone are the mist and red clouds from before.”
The netizens marveled!
After waking up from a dream, so it was all a dream!
Poem: “All earthly pleasures are like this; since ancient times, the myriad things all like water flowing east. One leaves you, sirs – when will one return?”
Was this farewell?
Zhang Ye was bidding farewell with his past?
Then, it was the last two lines of the poem that caused numerous people to have their expressions change!
The final stanza was a nonchalant attitude, “For now, put me amongst white deer in green valleys; one must ride to visit famous mountains. Why should I lower my face and bow for the influential and the rich, and take away my…joyous smile!?”